Title: Dog Days
Author: TA Moore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
Category: Fantasy, Shifters
At a Glance: This story is not for everyone, but I found it to be an amazingly captivating shifter story that is by far one of the most unique I have read in a quite a while. And I want more.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first—organizing aid drops and evacuating populations—but the weather is only getting worse.
In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a weredog. Less impressive, but still useful.
Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack–the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack–and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him.
A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.
Review: Don’t go into this one thinking this will be a happy-go-lucky shifter story with a mate bond and romance. You won’t get it at all. But you will get something remarkable. A flawlessly written, somewhat dystopian story about shifters who behave very much more like their primal side.
From the beginning, the reader is thrown into the middle of something that is clearly big, but it is up to the reader to follow the storyline through the dark paths it takes, and piece together the greater picture. The writing is evocative and the prose almost poetic in its darker descriptions. The world building is done well, yet does not feed the reader every detail. Instead, the author gives just enough information for the reader to paint their own picture, in many ways. This doesn’t mean the story is difficult to follow; it’s more that the reader has to use their own imagination in certain aspects.
The characterization in this story is what really blew me away, Danny and his position in the shifter hierarchy. His weredog side is subservient, but his human personality is far from it, refusing to be a pushover and give into his more basic instincts. His independent personality is always in a constant struggle with this more primal dog self when he is near Jack. And Jack…. The sheer raw nature of his personality—wow. He is a wolf, in thoughts and actions. He embraces his nature and the nature of a pack. There is no struggle between his human side and wolf side because they are in sync, and in reality, his humanity is merely a veneer so his wolf side can be undetected by the humans he walks among. Jack has difficulty comprehending Danny’s obsession with humans and what happens to them, and his main concern is figuring out what is happening and the role the Numitor and the pack play in it. He cares about Danny’s fate, but the humans Danny has surrounded himself by do not register as important.
The relationship between Danny and Jack is not what most would consider “romance”. In fact, if there is a romance, it is so minimal I don’t think I can pinpoint anything that stood out to me as romantic. What Danny and Jack have is in some ways deeper, primal and raw, that is goes beyond human understanding. Human emotions aren’t part of the chemistry the two share. What they have is part of their essential core makeup; dog and wolf. One subservient, one dominant. Lust and need.
The collective cast each have an integral part to play as the reader follows Danny and Jack through the twists and turns. The plot takes the reader down some gruesome routes, and the blood and gore are not glossed over: the smells permeating everything when Danny and Jack are in their animal forms, the desire to taste the flesh and consume, to hunt. The wild magic that calls to their shifter nature.
This book will not be for everyone. It’s dark. It’s eerie. The ever present weather creating an end of the world feel, leaving a feeling of bitter cold. The characters are seriously flawed as far as human emotions and actions go. This book will not provide the reader with a happily-ever-after, if that is what you are after.
However, there are readers like me who are satisfied. There is something to be said for a story that is amazingly well written and captivating, with dimensional characters which kept me fully invested in accompanying them through the pathways the author so expertly crafted. Each page was a new surprise, and this story was unlike anything I have read—I had no idea what would come next.
Quite simply, I want more.
You can buy Dog Days here: